'Make or break' | Surprising link between productivity and your culture explained

Surprising link between productivity and your culture explained

Nine in 10 workers think there is a strong link between their firm’s culture and their wellbeing and productivity, new research has found.

The study undertaken by wellbeing specialists Westfield Health highlights the importance of workplace culture and its impact on businesses' success.

In the midst of companies struggling to find employees, data from Westfield Health’s survey of 2,000 workers has shown how much of a role workplace culture plays in retaining and attracting people. More than three-fifths of employees (64%) have stated they would leave their job if their organisation’s culture was not a good fit.

Results from the survey concluded that the vast majority (86%) of employees said they were more productive at work if there was a good culture, while 85% said there was a link between workplace culture and wellbeing.

Commenting on this research, Dave Capper, CEO at Westfield Health, said: “Companies can’t ignore the sheer importance of culture in today’s workplace – especially if they want to attract and retain talent.

“At the minute, we’re seeing businesses face a battle for talent, and our research shows just how important culture is for workers. Not only does it improve productivity and wellbeing, but it could also make or break if someone leaves their job. Companies must work on their culture and wellbeing strategy to get this right if they want to avoid losing people.

“Businesses can over-complicate their approach to a culture and wellbeing strategy. The easiest place to start is to listen to employees, find out what they want from you and build your strategy around that.”

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The benefits that are working

Westfield Health’s research examined if employees felt comfortable using workplace benefits to support their wellbeing. Of the employees offered it, 92% used remote working, 89% used a four-day working week and 86% used flexible hours.

The least used company benefit is unlimited leave, with only 66% of employees using it in a typical working month, stating that they feel guilty about using the benefit (27%) or that it is frowned upon by the organisation they work for and their colleagues (9%).

“It is fantastic that many people are taking advantage of the benefits that workplaces are willing to offer, but in order to change workplace culture, senior leadership teams need to essentially practice what they preach, continues Dave.

“Thankfully, we are seeing many companies listening, with 74% of employees stating their leadership teams also visibly use the benefits their company offers.”

For businesses that are seeing company benefits dismissed by employees, maybe more work needs to be done. Only 65% feel that the company’s CEO/leadership team promotes a positive culture, meaning the onus is on management and leadership teams to make a proactive effort to enforce the change they want to see.

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While workers were largely positive about their leadership teams, those that did feel their workplace culture could be improved were clear about what their employer could change. Nearly two-fifths (38%) feel better communication is needed from leadership to improve workplace culture, with 33% stating that being listened to by management will help and 30% wanting more support from leaders.

“Our research shows that culture is clearly important to employees and it needs to be a priority for companies to retain talent. If businesses do not authentically care about their workers, they will not feel valued and will decide to look for work elsewhere,” shares Dave.

“A strong strategy is not the sole solution, it needs to be built on effective two-way communication and finding out what employees want.

“It is reassuring that workers are feeling positive, especially after a testing two years. But businesses must not become too lax – they must keep assessing their wellbeing and culture strategies progress and if employees want any changes to be made.”

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